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Prevent Covid-19 - the employer's responsibility

As an employer, you must ensure that the work can be carried out fully responsibly in terms of health and safety.

Assessment of the risk of infection

As an employer, you must ensure that the work can be carried out fully responsibly in terms of health and safety. As an employer, it is your responsibility to continually identify and assess whether employees are at risk of being infected with COVID-19 (corona virus) in connection with their work.

If this is the case, you must take measures to prevent the risk of infection as effectively as possible by planning the work, for example. The Danish Working Environment Authority encourages you to follow the Danish Health Authority's general recommendations to reduce the risk of infection and recommendations for the individual industries, which you can find here:

Prevent the spread of coronavirus

The Danish Health Authority's general recommendations:

Stay at home in the event of illness. Plan the work so that employees can keep their distance. Make hand sanitizer or a washbasin available. Minimise contact with others. Make regular cleaning a priority

As an employer, you must involve the employees in the work of preventing and handling infection with COVID-19 in connection with the work. And if the workplace has a working environment organisation and/or a liaison committee (AMO - Working Environment Organisation/MED - Co-influence and cooperation system/SU - Liaison Committee) then it must be involved.

Before migrant workers enter Denmark and start at the workplace, it is important that the employer makes a decision on the special conditions of the work that must be taken into account. Among other things, this means:

  • The migrant workers have been informed of the recommendation from the Danish health authorities that workers coming from a country or region which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark advises against non-essential travel to or from ('orange' countries) self-isolate themselves until a negative test result exists.

  • Effective instruction of migrant workers in relation to infection with COVID-19 in connection with work must be ensured.

  • Joint solutions must be coordinated and implemented if there are several companies at the same workplace.

  • If the employer makes housing available to migrant workers, the authorities encourage employers to make their employees aware of the authorities' recommendations for distance and hygiene, for example.

  • It is important to keep migrant workers together in smaller groups such as crews, in order to reduce the risk of spreading possible infection with COVID-19. This applies in particular to employees who come from a country or a region to which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark advises against non-essential travel due to COVID-19.

Information to employees prior to entry

As far as possible and before entry into Denmark and commencing work, it is important that the employer informs migrant labour of guidelines and recommendations about the prevention of infection with COVID-19 in Denmark.

For example, this may include information that:

All workers can be tested by the authorities. If they come from a country or region which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark advises against non-essential travel to or from due to COVID-19, they are encouraged to be tested by the authorities upon entry or immediately after entry, and they are encouraged to self-isolate until a negative test result exists. The employee could possibly be offered to be tested at the border. And the employer can draw attention to the information leaflet on testing

COVID-19 testing for migrant workers

The Danish Health Authority has created a poster with five good tips to prevent infection with COVID-19. It can be an advantage to print it out and hang it up in the workplace:

Prevent coronavirus (poster)

The employer has a duty to continuously ensure that the work can be carried out in a completely responsible way in terms of health and safety. It is the employer's responsibility to continuously identify whether there is a risk that employees may be exposed to COVID-19 infection in connection with work. If this is the case, the employer must implement measures to prevent the risk of infection as effectively as possible, including for example, by planning the work, and by following the Danish Health Authority's general recommendations to reduce the risk of infection.

The employer must involve employees in the work of preventing and managing infection with COVID-19 in connection with the work. And if the workplace has a working environment organisation and/or a liaison committee (AMO - Working Environment Organisation/MED - Co-influence and cooperation system/SU - Liaison Committee) then it must be involved.

Guidance material has been created for various industries on preventing infection with COVID-19:

Prevent the spread of coronavirus

Other information can be found at:

Coronavirus in Denmark and border crossing


The above information and more is gathered in an information sheet for migrant workers:

Important information about COVID-19 if you are going to enter Denmark to work 

Instruction and supervision of the work

As an employer, you have a duty to instruct your employees in how to carry out their work so that they do not risk becoming infected with COVID-19 when doing the work. The purpose of this is also to create understanding among employees of the importance of each individual protecting themselves from COVID-19 infection at work.

As an employer, you also have a duty to supervise that the work is carried out in a fully responsible way in terms of health and safety. Remember to ensure that all employees at the workplace understand the guidelines. For example, review the workplace's special COVID-19 initiatives, such as the placing of hand sanitizer, the sharing of tools and keeping a good distance in various work situations.

As an employer, you also have a duty to monitor compliance with the guidelines.

Tests and self-isolation

Employees are not allowed to come to work if they have mild symptoms that could indicate COVID-19. You should also advise your employees to isolate themselves from others.

If your employees have symptoms of COVID-19 (sore throat, feeling ill, muscle pain, dry cough and fever, etc.), you should advise them to contact the on-call doctor or 1813 (Capital Region of Denmark) with a view to being referred for testing.

A sick employee's workstation should be cleaned immediately after identification of illness. After a period of illness, employees may not return to work until 48 hours after they no longer have symptoms.

You can read more about tests and self-isolation here:

COVID-19 testing for migrant workers

However, if you suspect that an employee is presumed to be infected with Covid-19, and the employee does not wish to voluntarily remain isolated, you can contact the Danish Agency for Patient Safety on tel. +45 70 22 02 68 (East of the Great Belt) and tel. +45 70 22 02 69 (West of the Great Belt).

After a specific assessment, the Agency may order the employee to go into isolation if the Agency assesses that he/she must be suspected of being infected with Covid-19. If necessary, the Agency may request assistance from the police in carrying out the isolation.

Housing

If you, as an employer, make accommodation available to migrant workers, the authorities encourage you to make your employees aware of the authorities' recommendations regarding, e.g. distance and hygiene.

There are rules for how to live in Denmark. You can read the most important rules here:

A roof over your head

Although this booklet has been written for the construction industry, the rules apply to everyone regardless of industry.

The owner of a home is responsible for ensuring that the home is safe to live in.

Welfare facilities such as eating and toilet facilities

The employer must ensure that employees have access to, e.g. eating and toilet facilities in connection with their work.

It is important that the work is organised to reduce the employees' risk of infection with COVID-19 and to follow the Danish Health Authority's recommendation to ensure that cleaning is performed even more than usual, in order to avoid any infection spreading among the employees. This also applies to toilets, eating areas, bathing facilities and other welfare measures.

Cleaning must be carried out using ordinary methods and cleaning agents, but more frequently and thoroughly.

Health authorities recommend that companies follow these guidelines to limit the risk of spreading infection:

Toilets:

  • Toilets should be cleaned frequently depending on the circumstances
  • Contact points such as taps, flush buttons, toilet seats, door handles and light switches must be cleaned frequently depending on the circumstances
  • Waste bins in toilet facilities must be emptied before they are completely full and at least once a day.

Eating area:

  • Eat in smaller groups of people who already work together. Eat outdoors if possible.
  • Keep a distance of at least 1 metre. For people who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, you should keep a distance of at least 2 metres.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer both before and after eating.
  • Contact points such as tables, chairs, handles, coffee maker, etc. must be cleaned frequently depending on the circumstances
  • It is not recommended to use the car as a place for several people to eat.

Bathing facilities:

Statens Serum Institut (SSI) states that employees can still take a bath/shower at work. However, there is a prerequisite that:

  • Employees are healthy and without symptoms that may be suspected to be caused by COVID-19
  • Employees comply with the general guidelines issued by the Danish Health Authority on keeping a distance and good hand hygiene in bathrooms and changing facilities. This consideration may make it necessary for employees to not bath/shower at the same time.

Got questions?

If you have any questions of a medical nature, please contact the joint authority hotline on tel.: +45 70 20 02 33. The hotline is open 24/7.

If you have questions of a working environment nature, you can contact the Danish Working Environment Authority's Call Centre on tel.: +45 70 12 12 88.

Any questions?

Contact Arbejdstilsynet
The Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA)

Phone hours
Monday - Thursday: 8 - 15
Friday: 8 - 14

+45 70 12 12 88
Press 9 for English
at@at.dk

Last updated: 25-09-2020